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The end all Bay Area XLB debate. Where's the best?

Simple answers. Name of eatery, and ONE sentence saying why they are the best.


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  1. You are gonna have a hard time with this thread because it gets asked every two weeks. Try searching the board. A lot of people like Shanghai Dumpling King. Zap!

    Shanghai Dumpling King
    3319 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

    2 Replies
    1. re: P. Punko

      I go to Shanghai Dumpling King, but I wanted to see if we could keep this thread in the top so nobody asks anymore, which, is somewhat contradicting by me just adding another thread about it. ahhhh wehllll

      1. re: Adamsimpson

        No, that is hilarious. I know what you mean. Certain items just need a mondo, go-to thread that just gets updated.

    2. I'm a big fan of SDK. Best I've had in SF and California. That said, a friend who also likes SDK recently went to Koi Palace and ordered some XLB and he said they were excellent, better then SDK. I don't doubt him, I just wish KP was easier to get into to verify.

      1. I was at Shanghai Dumpling King just 10 days ago after recalibration of my XLB tastebuds at a dozen of Shanghai's best xiaolongbao venues last October (see http://is.gd/6Zyc ) and can unequivocably say SDK's are the best in the area, and would rank high even against the roster I sampled in Shanghai. The five of us (all born Shanghainese except me) gladly went through five steamers at SDK as well as tackling some other small eats. The ci fan (fan tuan) was also pronounced excellent by those who ordered it (I'm not a fan).

        1 Reply
        1. re: Xiao Yang

          XY, any reports of Wuxi style XLB in the bay area?
          I still can't get them out of my mind.

        2. I go back and forth between Shanghai Dumpling King in SF and Sunny Shanghai in San Bruno. They are different, and quality can sometimes vary a bit at both places, but both are really good.

          I used to think Shanghai House had better XLB than Shanghai Dumpling King, but I now think the opposite, though Shanghai House's aren't bad either.

          Shanghai Dumpling Shop has the worst of the four places mentioned.

          I've had various renditions of XLB at Koi Palace during dim sum, and they were also very good, but still not as good as SDK.

          The food overall (things other than XLB) I think is a bit better and more varied at Sunny Shanghai. Although I love the sugar egg puffs at SDK.

          1. Side topic but for arguably the best Shen Jian Bao (SJB) which is doughy skin, pan fried, but great pork meat inside with a ton of delicious hot soup, look no further than Shanghai Flavor Shop in Sunnvale (who used to have XLB on the menu but their SJB is really why everyone goes there), easily beating a lot of mediocre XLB in the south bay.

            1 Reply
            1. re: K K


              Shanghai Flavor Shop
              888 Old San Francisco Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Did their move fall through? They were supposed to move into the old Denny's on El Camino, but the place has been pretty empty for quite some time.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Well I can guarantee the banner used to say "Coming soon, the new location of Su Hong Palo Alto"- although I suspect the other poster was joking that it was just an ad for their old location. Their website even mentions the planned move (but has it pushed back to "2008"). There has been zero movement on the move. These things are always scary because you worry about the place never coming back!

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I was at Su Hong around Thanksgiving. The XLBs were good to very good with nice broth and filling but the skins were on the thicker side, which isn't my preference. Not quite as delicate as others but a good XLB. Had pork and crab...I think crab has a very specific temp to eat them at. Too hot and the broth overpowers the crab and of course too cold and you miss half the fun.

                  1. re: ML8000

                    Thanks for the recent update. Interesting observation about the soup temperature. The skins do seem to vary somewhat over the years I've been eating them here, probably ebbing and flowing with whomever is in charge of the kitchen at the time. But I've nearly always been happy with my meal here, which I can't say about very many places over that stretch of time.